by David Phinney
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Charges Against Lt. Col. William H. Steele — Commander of Camp Cropper Prison, Iraq

Guard escorts prisoner at Camp Cropper, Iraq.

posted by David Phinney

The Charges Against Steele:
RELEASE No. 20070426-01
April 26, 2007
Charges announced
Multi-National Corps – Iraq PAO

Baghdad, Iraq- Lt. Col. William H. Steele has been charged with offenses under the provisions of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

These charges are merely an accusation of wrongdoing. Lt. Col. Steele is presumed innocent unless and until he his proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of any alleged offense.

CHARGE I: Violation of the UCMJ, Article 104
Specification: In that Lieutenant Colonel William H. Steele, did, between on or about 1 October 2005 and 31 October 2006, aid the enemy by providing an unmonitored cellular phone to detainees.

CHARGE II: Violation of the UCMJ, Article 134
Specification: In that Lieutenant Colonel William H. Steele, did between on or about 31 October 2006 and 22 February 2007, having unauthorized possession of classified information, violate Title 18, United States Code, Section 793(e), by knowingly and willfully retaining the same and failing to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States.

CHARGE III: Violation of the UCMJ, Article 133
Specification 1: In that Lieutenant Colonel William H. Steele, did, between on or about 20 October 2005 and 22 February 2007, knowingly and wrongfully fraternize with the daughter of a detainee, wherein such acts constituted conduct unbecoming an officer in the armed forces.
Specification 2: In that Lieutenant Colonel William H. Steele, did, between on or about 1 December 2005 and 11 December 2006, knowingly and wrongfully provide special privileges to and maintain an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter, wherein such acts constituted conduct unbecoming an officer in the armed forces.

CHARGE IV: Violation of the UCMJ, Article 92
Specification 1: In that Lieutenant Colonel William H. Steele, did, between on or about 18 February 2007 and 21 February 2007, violate a lawful general regulation, to wit: paragraph 7-4, Army Regulation 380-5, dated 29 September 2000, by wrongfully and knowingly storing classified information in his living space.
Specification 2: In that Lieutenant Colonel William H. Steele, did, between on or about 1 September 2006 and 21 February 2007, violate a lawful general regulation, to wit: paragraph 4-32, Army Regulation 380-5, dated 29 September 2000, by improperly marking classified information.
Specification 3: In that Lieutenant Colonel William H. Steele, having knowledge of a lawful order issued by the 89th Military Police Brigade Deputy Commander, did, at or near Camp Victory, Iraq, on or about 22 February 2007, fail to obey the order.
Specification 4: In that Lieutenant Colonel William H. Steele, did, between on or about 18 February 2007 and 21 February 2007, violate a lawful general order, to wit: paragraph 2e, Multi-National Corps-Iraq General Order Number 1, dated 16 December 2006, by wrongfully and knowingly possessing pornographic videos.
Specification 5: In that Lieutenant Colonel William H. Steele, between on or about 1 October 2005 and 31 October 2006, was derelict in the performance of his duties in that he willfully failed to fulfill his obligations as an approving authority in the expenditure of Field Ordering Officer funds.
-30-
James Hutton
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army
Public Affairs Officer
Q&A: Responses to Questions Received Thu 4/26/2007 6:18 AM
Received 21 Apr:
Q1: Where do I get in touch with Lt. Col. Steele, or do you know his whereabouts? My understanding is that he is no longer stationed at Cropper. What happened?
A1. LTC Steele commanded a compound within Camp Cropper from October 2005 until he completed this assignment in September 2006. He then volunteered to serve in another position in Iraq. He is currently in pre-trial confinement at the Theater Field Confinement Facility (TFCF), pending court-martial charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Q2: How many American detainees are there presently at Cropper and Camp Bucca? What are the charges?
A2. Currently, three American citizens are in MNF-I Theater Internment Facilities. None of the allegations against Lt. Col. Steele are related to these individuals.
Received 23 Apr:
Q3: It has come to my attention that Army Lt. Col. William H. Steele is being detained in Kuwait and awaiting trial under the U.S. military code of Justice. Other military personnel related to this matter may also be held.
A3: Lt Col. Steele is being held in the TFCF in Kuwait. All US Military pre-trial prisoners within the CENTCOM AOR are held in this facility. Military post-trial prisoners are held in the TFCF until they can be transferred to permanent confinement facilities. The TFCF confines only U.S. military prisoners. No other military personnel are pending charges in this matter.
Q4: My understanding is that Lt. Col. Steele was the commander of the Camp Cropper prison. Correct? What are the dates of his Camp Cropper command and his responsibilities?
A4: Answered Above A1
Q5: My further understanding is that Lt. Col. Steele is being held for aiding and abetting imprisoned insurgents and American detainees? Correct? Others may also be involved?
A5: These charges are merely an accusation of wrongdoing. Lt. Col. Steele is presumed innocent unless and until he his proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of any alleged offense.
Lt. Col. Steele was charged on March 14, 2007 with the following offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)

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21 Responses to “Charges Against Lt. Col. William H. Steele — Commander of Camp Cropper Prison, Iraq”

  1. Jose Tanon says:

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

  2. weiss217 says:

    I’ve read these posts and I see that Steele has been portrayed as a hard ass, and usually as a prick, to boot. It has been my experience in life that you can be a hard ass, if you’re a fair hard ass. And, if you also follow the same hard-ass rules that you hold everyone else accountable to. Your troops, or your cops, will say that you’re a prick, but you’re a fair prick. I once had someone bid a shift to work for me and tell me exactly that.
    I spent my time in the Army 40 years ago as the exec of an artillery battery, and then afterwards I did thirty years as a cop. I worked from the street to detective, and finally in the administration doing training, background investigations and hiring. My first love was working the street. Early in my career, I took my turn in the barrel working the jail. You learned early on that you didn’t get subverted by the inmates. Every cop learns that early, or their career ends in flames.
    From the newspaper accounts and from what I’ve read here, this guy sounds like a screw up. He jeopardized his mission and his men with his conduct. I’m certain he had to know the consequences of what he was doing, if it came down to an internal investigation, and he disregarded the cost and the penalties.
    I’ve seen people get screwed over, and I’ve seen people slide, but usually, you have to hand people the stick they’re gonna beat you with. And, from everything I’ve seen, this guy had a dump truck full of screw ups they could use. Not nickel and dimers. But, somebody should have been watching this early on and put a stop to his inappropriate conduct. Who was watching? Who should have been?
    Just me on the outside lookin’ at what I see. Just my take on things.

  3. XO says:

    To SGM W
    I cannot believe you are still sticking up for this guy. It has nothing to do with jealous soldiers. The guy is a shit bird. You and your BLD XO should be ashamed for you lack of action when we brought this to your attention. SGM, I had a lot of respect for the entire staff (minus Mahowald, he’s just a little prick with small-mans syndrome who was too big a pussy to ever leave the wire in a real convoy) but with you still defending him that respect is waning.

  4. first hand knowledge says:

    to :SGM at August 21, 2007 11:38 PM.
    In reply to your posting, I can tell you first hand that LTC Steele did NOT have the linguist Bahar sent away after hearing the “rumors”. She was MOVED to camp Bucca because her “interactions” with LTC Steele was causing alot of problems amongst the other linguists. She walked around as if she was the “head linguist” in trying to order the other linguists around and was constantly violating the rules by bringing her personal cell phone into the compound. After finding out from Bahar that she was being moved, LTC Steele tried everything he could to keep her at Camp Cropper. Needless to say his efforts were unrewarded. Also there was absolutely no need for LTC Steele to travel the 300 plus miles to Camp Bucca to take care of “unit business”. There was frequent video conferences between all the TIFs and TF-134 along with easy methods to send and recieve items and documents if need be. From my stand point its pretty obvious why he went down there. ( and no, i am not one of those jealous little boys as you mentioned ) So in closing, I wanted to clarify on that one portion of your posting. I will honestly say that i do not hate LTC Steele ,but i truelly believe he is an idiot. I did not have to serve under him at Camp Cropper, but maybe if i had i would feel a little differently. Have a great day!

  5. SGM says:

    When I read the comments from Joe American reading his news, I would say they got it right. LTC Steele is obviously a scapegoat for the CID who instigated an investigation based on misuse of funds only to find out that there was no case. An unaccounted for phone call, however, is aiding the enemy. Wait, that phone call was later accounted for… nevermind, charge him anyway – we’ll find some evidence to support it later! Oh by the way, it was well known that Steele NEVER carried a cell phone on his person unless leaving the camp. Hmmmm, and didn’t the detainees have the right to unlimited calls? Of course they did. How many prisoner riots occurred as a result of his handing out unmonitored phones? What did you say? None? If you PFCs and SPCs weren’t such whiny assed babies you would realize that doing something like that would have caused the whole place to collapse. You could never know that HE WAS NEVER IN CHARGE OF ANYTHING – everything the prisoners received was directed from above; every movement made was directed from above. And when he didn’t back you up it was because he was backing up decisions made by your senior NCOs; but it’s easy to criticize from the bottom of the pile. In the same vein of not knowing what you are talking about, he had the interpreter (BS) moved once he heard the rumors. Visits to her were made twice – once at the request of a superior officer and he did not even see her, and a second time to visit the unit he left for the Babysitting Assignment, also to conduct unfinished unit business. So what if he visited with her at the same time? Jealous, little boys, that you were refused? It is obvious that your testimony is fueled by hatred instead of facts. Just remember, lies eventually come back to haunt the ones that tell them, and you will be the ones burning in hell. This soldier cannot be freed soon enough.

  6. jay says:

    col steele was a hard ass commander in Fort Campbell during the time i was station there. We all deployed with the Rakkasan to Iraq in late 2005,when did things start going down hill for him?

  7. Marsha says:

    I am pretty sure this is the same William H. Steele that I served with in Desert Storm. He is an a– hole if there ever was one. When we left over there, he had a room full of stuff he had got the locals in Rafah to give him. He slept in late almost every morning. He was just a jerk in general. I hope he spends many years at the Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth.

  8. Unknown Soldier says:

    So, I love the comments and everyone should keep them coming… especially those who had to deal with Steele’s BS over there. He is definitely a cocksucker who will be deserving of much more than he ever receives. I don’t think he will get his just deserves even if he were to get the DP. Just so those that know about him can see I speak the truth I would like to give a shout out to Bahar, his little FB. F him and all those who would support him. If he was such a great guy here in the states as a police officer it just shows that he needed his wife to put him in check and when she wasn’t there he was his true self, a dirt bag. To all of us soldiers that had to deal with his shit for the year I would like to propose a future toast. If he is convicted I am sure we will hear about it. 24 hours after it happens raise your beer and toast the military finally doing something right by taking down the problem, not the soldier.

  9. jack.hester says:

    Ltc.Steele was an idiot while he was in charge of cropper. Everybody saw him f ing up and no one did a dam thing about it. The one officer who did was sent home earlier. His Whole staff stood by and let him f soldiers over. All the cared about was their ncoer @ oer being good. They need to look in to his whole chain of command and bust all their asses for letting these happen. But once again the military will let all this slide.

  10. anona mouse says:

    Steele went out with us one time and was a total joke. He took off his armor and was unarmed in a guard tower, alone with the IP outside the wire. We saw him letting the IP use his cell phone that day. Our Sgt. pinned him to the ground and lit him up as it would be our ass if something happened to him. He was a complete moron. It was well known he was fraternizing with the enemy in ways he shouldnt. They need to fry his ass. So all you clowns who talk of him being a man of integrity need to shut the f up. He is a scumbag moron who is going to get what he deserves.

  11. Scott in Iraq says:

    It was alleged that Steele was having sex with an interpreter at Cropper. She was transfered to Camp Bucca. A married officer would have the sense to stay away from her. But instead, Steele convoyed to Bucca several times and was seen dining with this linguist at the Bucca DFAC. After dinner, they were seen heading towards her quarters. I cannot say if he had an affair with her or not, but who takes an entire convoy 1/2 way across Iraq to see a woman you’ve been accused of having an affair with? Later, when this linguist was terminated, Steele pulled out all the stops to try and get her reinstated including, but not limited to, calling other officers and asking them to vouch for her and calling the Titan office asking for her to be reinstated. Serious abuse of power.

  12. Suffering from terminal frustration and a Congress imposed official defeat, the Pentagon has reared their ugly heads, looking for excuses and scapegoats.
    Lt Col Steele, who had the audacity to oppose holding three US citizens serving as FBI undercover informants filled the bill. The three informants were caught up in an Army “sweep” of Baghdad and subjected to months of intense interrogation at Camp Cropper even as they begged daily for their interrogators to verify their status with the FBI. Held incommunicado without hearing, without charges being filed, and without notification of anyone.
    Not content with opposing the imprisonment and daily interrogation of the three FBI informants who had been attempting to ferret out who was selling munitions to the terrorists, Lt Col Steele had the guts to ignore an order to release the three “without paperwork” after months of illegal confinement and instead wrote up standard release documents.
    The three lived a virtual Hell during their confinement, with their interrogators ignoring their pleas to verify their status with the the FBI, proceeding instead to use food deprivation, water deprivation, intense light and deafening music 24-7 to break these three men psychologically.
    The three are now suing the US Army and using the release papers signed by Lt Col Steele to prove their confinement and total denial of rights.
    And this my friends, is exactly why the Pentagon has their undies all knotted up and wants to discredit and punish Lt Col Steele. They are doing everything they can to screw Steele for being a man of integrity, with sadly, the co-operation of the mainline Press.

  13. Christopher J Chesser says:

    I was under his command from March 2006 to March 2007 and I can tell you from first hand knowledge that everything that he is accussed of actually happened. There are a couple of other things that I don’t see listed here so I won’t mention them. One thing is for sure…he treated the detainees alot better than his MP’s!

  14. Iraq_Sucks says:

    Well, I will say this. If they charge Bill for this issue on the non monitored phone. They had better get the old dame that was in charge in the MP unit running Cropper at the same time, because she did the same damn thing. I worked with the MI unit at Cropper. And many times we argued with her in giving phone privileges and not telling us so we could monitor the call. Yes, they had a soldier present, but that is not the same as monitoring if you know what I mean ??
    She was even on TV. Talk about aiding the enemy.

  15. I’ve known Bill Steele for years, knew him as a Deputy Sheriff when he got into trouble for attempting to arrest a Deputy from another county for drunk driving. Served on civic commitees and watched him do volunteer work during storms.
    Bill Steele is a top-notch guy, not by any means a traitor, and I sure hope the full story gets out. This man is being railroaded by the military in an effort to cover up something they are afraid will get out about wrongdoing at Camp Copper by officials Bill had under investigation.
    This miltary “grand jury” is about as fair as the Salem Witch trials. The Military accuses, then gets to pick the judge, jury, prosecutor and defense attorney… nice set-up! Get the rope!

  16. Robert W Adrian says:

    I served with Bill Steele for many years and have maintained a friendship with him. He like to help people and likes to “be liked” NO WAY were these maliscious wrong doing. He is probaly only guilty of poor judgement

  17. Bob Harshall says:

    If this is the LTC Steele I knew at the 99th Regional Readiness Command, I find it difficult to believe he is guilty of these charges. I worked with him and found him to be a fine officer.

  18. Johnny says:

    Well, at least he wasn’t on the front line. You know how prison wardens are always picked from the cream of the crop. Give me a break. I am really interested to see the details about him giving a cell phone to prisoners. That sounds rediculous. What would a Lt. Col. be doing even looking at the prisoners, let alone giving them fruit baskets and cell phones.
    I’m really curious to know who this guy ticked off enough to have them go through his sock drawer. Anyway, these charges don’t sound that bad, considering this guy has given his free life away to serve our country over seas for the last few years.
    That’s more of a sacrifice than most of us have given. Give the guy a break. I think that even if he is guilty of some of these charges, he is not guilty of ALL of them. If this guy serves time in prison over this, it is a shame. He obviously had done something right to work his way up the ranks to LT Col.

  19. jason zenith says:

    The porn charge reminds me of the famous scene in “Casablanca” where the French Vichy Colonel uses gambling as a pretext to shut down Humphrey Bogart’s club, pretending it was news to him. Virtually EVERY American soldier possesses pornography. The authorities know that any time they want to go after a soldier for any reason, they can add “possession of pornography” to the charges as a sure-fire “Gotcha!”…or even use it as the sole charge. I think they did it to their erstwhile Muslim translator at Gitmo too when they falsely and paranoiacally thought he was an enemy.

  20. Mike Felker says:

    If he is found guilty they should execute him. And do it ASAP and let the world know that the US doesn’t tolerate TREASON!! This man should get what he deserves and that’s a IED in the chest.

  21. m says:

    there is another officer currently under cid investigation since approx sept 2006 for having classified information on computers which he brought to his base residence; he is wanting to retire this june and they have yet to bring charges against him; he too has had pornographic material on his computer and helped to save the career of an elisted person who is third degree sex offender listed on the nc sex offender registry site

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